L.D. 50 (album)

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L.D. 50
Studio album by Mudvayne
Released August 22, 2000
Recorded 1999–2000 in The Warehouse Studio, Vancouver
Genre Alternative metal, progressive metal[1][not in citation given][2][not in citation given], heavy metal, nu metal[2]
Length 68:32
Label No-Name/Epic
Producer GGGarth and Mudvayne
Mudvayne chronology
L.D. 50
The End of All Things to Come
Singles from LD.50
  1. "Dig"
    Released: 2000
  2. "Death Blooms"
    Released: 2000
  3. "Nothing to Gein"
    Released: 2001

L.D. 50 is the debut studio album by the American band Mudvayne. Released in 2000, it is the band's first release on Epic Records, following the independently released extended play, Kill, I Oughtta. L.D. 50 was coproduced by GGGarth & Mudvayne and executive produced by Steve Richards & Slipknot member Shawn "Clown" Crahan. The band's elaborate visual appearance resulted in increased recognition of the band and L.D. 50 peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard 200. The album was appraised by critics for its technical and heavy style of music.

Background and production[edit]

Mudvayne formed in 1996 in Peoria, Illinois.[3] The band became known for its strong visual appearance, which included horror film-styled makeup.[4] After independently releasing their debut extended play, Kill, I Oughtta, the band signed to No-Name/Epic Records.[4] L.D. 50 was produced by Garth "GGGarth" Richardson[5] and executive produced by Steve Richards and Slipknot member Shawn "Clown" Crahan.[3][4][6][7][8] Epic Records initially chose to promote the band without focusing on its appearance and early promotional materials featured a logo instead of photographs of the band. However, the band's appearance and music videos increased recognition of the album.[4]

According to the band, the production of the album was very hectic. Drummer Matthew McDonough reflected, "We worked around the clock, and some of the engineers we had with us literally went for days with-out sleep. It was very, very time-intensive. We didn't party. We were recording in Vancouver but didn't get to see the town-we were just there and we worked and that was it. It was very intense, and Garth ran a tight ship."[9] Singer Chad Gray recalled, "Making the record was crazy. It was all about work. There were songs I left alone and didn't mess with until we were in the studio, which was not a smart idea considering the time and budget constraints we were under. I wrote 'Pharmaecopia' and 'Nothing To Gein' on our last night in the studio, before the tapes were sent to New York to be mixed. The pres-sure was insane."[9]

Several of the albums interludes feature excerpts from Terence McKenna.[8][10]

Music and lyrics[edit]

L.D. 50 features a technical style of music which has been referred to by the band as math metal.[11][12] Mudvayne's musical style has influences of death metal,[13] hardcore punk,[13] fusion jazz,[13][14] world music,[8][15] and speed metal.[13][13] The musical style of L.D. 50 has been described as progressive metal,[1][not in citation given] heavy metal,[14][15][16] alternative metal[17][page needed][18] and nu metal.[17][page needed] Spin magazine has described the album as having a "future-prog" sound.[18]

During the songwriting process, the band members paired riffs with lyrics based on what Matthew McDonough referred to as "number symbolism".[13] According to McDonough, while he and Chad Gray wrote the lyrics to "Nothing to Gein", Greg Tribbett performed a riff which alternated in bars of 4 and 5. Because the number 9 is a lunar number, McDonough felt that the riff would fit the song's lyrics, which referred to serial killer and grave robber Ed Gein, whose actions McDonough associated with nighttime activity.[3][13] Gein's story grabbed the attention of McDonough and Gray as they were leafing through a book on murderers and true crime.[3] Regarding Gein, McDonough commented, "It seemed so impossible [for Gein] to bridge the gap into mainstream society. I found that exciting that I could find humanity in him".[3]

The album's title derives from the technical term 'Median lethal dose', abbreviated LD50, used by toxicologists to refer to the dose required to kill half (50 percent of) the members of a tested population.[3][5][13] A sound collage entitled "L.D. 50", composed and recorded by MjDawn, appears on the album as a series of interludes. The complete piece appeared as a bonus track on The Beginning of All Things to End, Epic Records' reissue of the band's 1997 self-released EP Kill, I Oughtta.[7][19] The album also features distorted audio clips voiced by American philosopher and psychonaut, Terence Mckenna, who died around the time of the album.[8][10]


Mudvayne was influenced by heavy metal, extreme metal, industrial and progressive rock artists such as Tool, Obituary, Devin Townsend, Faith No More, Emperor, Pantera, Alice in Chains, Voivod, Skinny Puppy, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree and early Metallica.[11][20][21][22][unreliable source?][23][unreliable source?] The album's 1st track, "Monolith", refers to Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.[5] The band were greatly influenced by this film during the making of L.D. 50.[3][9] Singer Chad Gray at one point watched the film up to 30 times in three months.[22] Regarding the film, Gray quipped, "At one point I watched it 4 days in a row. I couldn't get enough of it. I have it on DVD, and I plugged my headphones into my computer, and just listened to the movie and visualized it in my head."[22]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[15]
Blabbermouth.net 8/10[24]
College Music Journal (favorable)[25][page needed]
The Daily Cardinal (favorable)[16]
Martin Charles Strong 6/10 stars[26]
Melody Maker 3.5/5 stars[17][page needed]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[14]
Q 3/5 stars[27][page needed]

L.D. 50 peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and number 85 on the Billboard 200.[28] The singles "Dig" and "Death Blooms" peaked at No. 33 and No. 32, respectively, on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[28]

Allmusic reviewer William Ruhlmann, Rolling Stone contributor Ben Ratliff and Q magazine gave the album three out of five stars.[14][15][27] Ratliff noted the band's technical background, comparing the songwriting style to that of Nirvana and stating that the album's interludes are better than those of Slipknot.[14] Ruhlmann found the band hard to take seriously.[15] Q referred to the album as "a clever amalgam of Korn, Tool and Mr. Bungle".[27] Melody Maker gave the album 3 and a half out of 5 stars, and called it a "slithering cesspit of fetid malignance".[17] College Music Journal named the album "Futuristic aggro-metal".[25][page needed] Blabbermouth.net writer Borivoj Krgin gave the album 8 out of 10 stars, praising its technicality and heaviness.[24] The Daily Cardinal editor Nate Finn wrote that L.D. 50 "[represents] nihilism in the form of music".[16] In The Essential Rock Discography, Martin Charles Strong gave the album six out of ten stars.[26]


L.D. 50 was repackaged with The Beginning of All Things to End in a budget priced reissue on August 30, 2011.[29] A live recording of "Dig" and the demo version of "Death Blooms" appeared on the compilation By the People, for the People, which was compiled from selections voted for by fans through the band's website.[30] The album versions of "Dig", "-1" and "Death Blooms" appeared on the compilation Playlist: The Very Best of Mudvayne, which was released by Legacy Recordings in 2011.[31] In 2014 Revolver Magazine ranked the album sixth on their list of "10 Nu metal albums you need to own".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Chad Gray, Ryan Martinie, Greg Tribbett and Matthew McDonough

No. Title Length
1. "Monolith"   1:52
2. "Dig"   2:43
3. "Internal Primates Forever"   4:25
4. "-1"   3:58
5. "Death Blooms"   4:52
6. "Golden Ratio"   0:54
7. "Cradle"   5:14
8. "Nothing to Gein"   5:29
9. "Mutatis Mutandis"   1:43
10. "Everything and Nothing"   3:14
11. "Severed"   6:33
12. "Recombinant Resurgence"   2:00
13. "Prod"   6:03
14. "Pharmaecopia"   5:34
15. "Under My Skin"   3:47
16. "(k)now F(orever)"   7:06
17. "Lethal Dosage"   2:59
Total length:


  • Chad Gray — Vocals
  • Greg Tribbett — Guitar
  • Ryan Martinie — Bass
  • Matthew McDonough — Drums
  • Garth Richardson — Production, Engineering, Electro-organic audio manipulation
  • Andy Wallace — Mixing
  • Steve Richards — Executive producer
  • Shawn Crahan — Executive producer
  • Andre Wahl — Engineering
  • Chris Vaughan-Jones — Engineering
  • Ben Kaplan — Engineering
  • Dean Maher — Engineering
  • Scott Ternan — Assistant engineer
  • Alex Aligizakis — Assistant engineer
  • Paul Forgues — Assistant engineer
  • Zak Blackstone — Assistant engineer
  • Steve Sisco — Assistant mix engineer
  • Howie Weinberg — Mastering
  • Richard Leighton — Guitar technician
  • Chris Crippin — Drum technician
  • Chris Potter — Technical support
  • Ron Vermuelen — Technical support

Chart positions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fans ‘Dig’ Mudvayne". PostBulletin.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "10 Nu-Metal Albums You Need to Own". Revolvermag.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g McMullan, Michelle (January 5, 2001). "Mudvayne: The Birth of "Math metal"". Maximum Ink. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hay, Carla (April 28, 2001). No Name's Mudvayne 'Digs' into the Billboard 200 113 (17). pp. 17; 81. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ a b c McIver, Joel (2002). "Mudvayne". Nu-metal: The Next Generation of Rock & Punk. Omnibus Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-7119-9209-6. 
  6. ^ Arnopp, Jason (2001). "Tattooed and torn". Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks. Ebury Publishing. ISBN 0-09-187933-7. 
  7. ^ a b Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). "Mudvayne". New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Zonda Books Limited. p. 213. ISBN 0-9582684-0-1. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Intense Mudvayne Will Help 'Heavy Music' Kids Do The Math - Morning Call". Articles.mcall.com. 2000-09-22. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  9. ^ a b c "Bio". Web.archive.org. 2003-02-13. Archived from the original on 2003-02-13. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  10. ^ a b "NME Album Reviews - LD 50". Nme.Com. 2000-10-05. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  11. ^ a b Sheaffer, Caleb (April 9, 2003). "Mudvayne brings 'tongue-in-cheek' sensibility to BJC show". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved 5 January 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 30, 2001). "Mud Brothers". The Pitch. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2009. [broken citation]
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Bienstock, Richard (2002). "Mask Hysteria". In Kitts, Jeff; Tolinski, Brad. Guitar World Presents Nu-Metal. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 79–82. ISBN 0-634-03287-9. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Ratliff, Ben (September 28, 2000). "Review of L.D. 50". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Ruhlmann, William. "Review of L.D. 50". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Finn, Nate (November 15, 2000). "Nice nihilism on Mudvayne's 'L.D. 50'". The Daily Cardinal (Madison, Wisconsin). Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Review of L.D. 50". Melody Maker. October 17, 2000. 
  18. ^ a b Wood, Mikael. "Review of Mudvayne". Spin. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Torreano, Bradley. "Review of The Beginning of All Things to End". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  20. ^ Becker, Bryann (2009-01-29). "Radio Has Helped The Group Find Its Place In The Metal Music Genre". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  21. ^ Mudvayne. "Mudvayne - Similar Artists, Influenced By, Followers". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  22. ^ a b c "Kud's Bio". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Guurg's Bio". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Krgin, Borivoj (December 25, 2001). "Review of L.D. 50". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  25. ^ a b Review of L.D. 50. September 11, 2000. 
  26. ^ a b Strong, Martin Charles (2006). "Mudvayne". The Essential Rock Discography (8th ed.). Open City Books. p. 745. ISBN 1-84195-860-3. 
  27. ^ a b c "Review of L.D. 50". Q. December 1, 2000. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "Charts and awards for L.D. 50". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  29. ^ Monger, James Christopher (5 October 2011). "L.D. 50/The Beginning of All Things To End - Mudvayne". Allmusic. 
  30. ^ Lymangrover, Jason (5 October 2011). "By the People, For the People - Mudvayne". Allmusic. 
  31. ^ "Playlist: The Very Best of Mudvayne - Mudvayne". Allmusic. 5 October 2011.